Infertility

Arguably there is no more frustrating and complex health issue than infertility.

Defined as the inability to conceive a child after 12 months of unprotected intercourse, infertility affects about one out of six couples.

Infertility can be a mystery, because, in the absence of any anatomical disorders such as ovulation problems, fallopian tube damage, endometriosis, or uterine issues, it’s difficult to pinpoint what may be going on.

Here are several little-known underlying factors that you should consider that can significantly impact fertility, as well as ways you can overcome each and increase your chances of pregnancy success!

MTHFR Mutation

MTHFR is an abbreviation for the name of a gene, 5,10-methylenetetrahydrofolate reductase,  found on a specific chromosome within every cell in the human body.

The MTHFR gene produces an enzyme which plays a role in the production of proteins and other important compounds. When the MTHFR enzyme is not working as it should, homocysteine levels increase, which can lead to inflammation in blood vessels and the increased risk of microscopic clot formation…more

Click here for additional information.

A Low-Fat Diet

In addition to being crucial to brain and nervous system health, fats are needed by your body to make sex hormones, so if you severely restrict fats in your diet, you are selling your body short in terms of hormone resources…and that can impact your fertility.

About 30 percent of your daily calorie intake should be fats, being sure to include saturated, monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats.
Healthy sources of fats include real butter, extra virgin olive oil, lard, coconut oil, avocado, meats, poultry, fish, eggs, cheese, and nuts.

If you’re concerned about weight gain, don’t be.  Fats help fill you up and keep you satisfied, so you’re less likely to snack or overeat—and that’s a recipe for weight LOSS!

More on Diet

Nutrient Deficiencies

Essential Fatty Acids (EFA) are the most important nutrient for fertility. Wild Salmon, cod liver oil, nuts and seeds, hemp seed and ground flax seed are very high in EFA, and grass fed animal products are good sources. Vitamin D3, Folate, and zinc deficiency have all been linked to female infertility.

In addition to a healthy diet of real foods, a high-quality multi-vitamin, and mineral formula can help ensure your essential nutrient bases are covered. Look for plant based vitamins.

You may be low in magnesium http://wellnessmama.com/3610/are-you-low-on-magnesium/

Check out this video on important things to eat for fertility.

Over or Underactive Thyroid

Both over and underactive thyroid can affect the ability to conceive, so if you haven’t had your thyroid tested lately, now is the time.  Although the typical standard for testing thyroid function is the TSH test, many times the TSH misses cases of hypothyroidism because it’s more of a measure of pituitary function–not thyroid health.

The best option for assessing thyroid function is a TRH Stimulation (or TRH Challenge) test.

If your doctor is not familiar with the TRH Stimulation test (and many mainstream doctors are not), at least ask him to do these tests in addition to the TSH:

  • Total T4 and T3
  • Free T4 and T3
  • T3 Uptake
  • Reverse T3
  • Thyroid Antibodies

Get to the bottom of what may be contributing to infertility and increase your chances of a successful pregnancy!

Herbs for Infertility

Vitex angus castus, also known as Chaste Tree Berry, is one of the most popular and beneficial herbs for women’s fertility and menstrual health. Traditionally used to help support hormone production and maintain a healthy menstrual cycle, vitex is able to support hormonal balance in the body without containing any hormones itself.*

Fertilica Vitex contains 100% organic whole vitex berries. The whole vitex berry provides the full spectrum of beneficial vitex compounds shown to support female fertility.*

Vitex has been used traditionally to help:

  • Support a healthy menstrual cycle*
  • Encourage a normal luteal phase (second half of a woman’s cycle)*
  • Promote regular ovulation*
  • Support the body’s natural progesterone levels*
  • Aid and support the pituitary gland*
  • Promote a normal menstrual cycle*
  • Support normal FSH levels*
  • Ease occasional PMS symptoms*

Why Choose Fertilica Vitex:

  • Contains 500mg of Organic Vitex per capsule
  • 60 Vegetarian Capsules per bottle
  • Contains 100% whole berry
  • Vegetarian/vegan product
  • Free of salt, yeast, soy, milk, egg, shellfish and preservatives

Click here to find a source for Fertilica Vitex*

*Awakening birth is not affiliated with this company and receives no royalties or fees.

Environmental Toxins

The more toxic you are, the less likely your body will be able to function as it’s designed to, and that includes fertility—so it’s time to detox!

Start with your diet—eliminate the processed junk and stick to real foods.  If you look at a food label and have no earthly clue what an ingredient is, trust me, neither does your body—and it will have to be detoxed out of you like a poison.  Closer to Nature is always best.

Strive to go organic as much as you can to avoid herbicides and pesticides.

If you can’t go 100 percent organic, here’s a good rule of thumb:  If you are going to be eating the entire food including the skin if any (like apples, berries, cucumbers, lettuce, grapes or peppers), buy organic.  If you’re going to be peeling the food (such as with bananas, avocado, potatoes or oranges), conventional produce is acceptable.

Seek out natural household cleaners and detergents without harmful chemicals (Mrs. Meyers is an excellent choice) and organic personal care products.

And although this should be obvious, if you smoke, please quit, and avoid excessive alcohol intake…more on removing toxins

Stress

Pregnenolone is your “molding clay” for hormones, and your body allocates its Pregnenolone resources to wherever they’re needed.

But stress hormones trump all others—so when you’re under stress, your body directs ALL of its Pregnenolone to making stress hormones…and that leaves none for other hormones, including sex hormones.

Find ways to lower your stress level and get help if you need it…more on reducing stress

Statin Use

Here’s something you won’t read on a Crestor box—cholesterol is needed to make sex hormones, so if you’re on statins to reduce cholesterol, you may, in turn, be impacting your fertility.

There are other safer ways to encourage a healthy cholesterol level:

  • Fish oil supplements—fish oil has been medically proven to reduce cholesterol.
  • Better digestion—your liver eliminates old worn out cholesterol through the GI tract, but if you’re prone to constipation, your old cholesterol may instead be getting reabsorbed into circulation from the intestinal tract.  For better digestion, keep your meals simpler and avoid combining animal proteins and starches in the same meal, as this combination is very taxing on your stomach.  Enzyme supplements can also help boost the digestive process.
  • Probiotics—probiotics produce acids that counter cholesterol production, they also “eat” excess cholesterol and they encourage more regular BMs (and ease constipation).
  • Talk to your doctor about safer alternatives.

Essential Oils for Fertility

Sclaressence increases fertility in both men and women. http://www.experience-essential-oils.com/sclaressence-essential-oil.html

Assisted Reproductive Technology: an overview of Cochrane Reviews

Background

As many as one in six couples encounter problems with fertility, defined as failure to achieve a clinical pregnancy after regular intercourse for 12 months. Increasingly, couples are turning to assisted reproductive technology (ART) for help with conceiving and ultimately giving birth to a healthy live baby of their own. Fertility treatments are complex and costly, and each assisted reproduction cycle consists of several steps. If one of the steps is incorrectly applied, the stakes are high as conception may not occur. With this in mind, it is important that each step involved in ART is supported by good evidence from well-designed studies. Cochrane reviewers examined the evidence from Cochrane systematic reviews on ART published in The Cochrane Library.

Study Characteristics

This overview includes 54 Cochrane Reviews of various stages in the ART cycle. All the reviews were judged to be of high quality and this overview provides an up-to-date summary of evidence from randomized trials for ART cycles. The overview includes reviews of in vitro fertilisation (IVF) and intracytoplasmic sperm injection (ICSI), but not those of intrauterine insemination and ovulation induction.

Thirty of the reviews identified interventions that were effective or promising. Seventeen of these concluded that the assessed interventions were effective or improved safety, while the other 13 had some evidence of effectiveness or improved safety but concluded that more evidence was needed in order to be sure. In three of the reviews, the evidence showed that the interventions were ineffective, while in ten more, the authors concluded that the evidence suggested that the interventions lacked effectiveness or reduced safety. Finally, 11 reviews were unable to draw conclusions due to lack of evidence. A further 15 protocols and two registered titles for Cochrane Reviews were identified, for future inclusion in updates of the overview.

As examples, the findings for effective interventions showed that

• Endometrial injury in the month before ovulation induction for ART increases live birth rate and clinical pregnancy rate
• Laparoscopic tubal occlusion is an alternative to laparoscopic salpingectomy in improving IVF pregnancy rates in women with hydrosalpinges
• GnRHa given for 3-6 months before IVF or ICSI in women with endometriosis increases odds of clinical pregnancy fourfold
• Increased live birth rate is associated with embryo culture using low oxygen concentrations
• Ultrasound guided embryo transfer increases clinical pregnancy rate compared to clinical touch

While, two of the ineffective interventions can be summarized as

• Preimplantation genetic screening as currently performed significantly decreases live birth rates in women of advanced maternal age and those with repeated IVF failure. Trials in which PGS was offered to women with a good prognosis suggest similar outcomes.
• No evidence to suggest a benefit of using coasting to prevent ovarian hyperstimulation syndrome (OHSS), compared with no coasting or other interventions.

The authors of the overview conclude that it could be used to develop clinical practice guidelines and protocols for use in daily clinical practice, in order to improve live birth rates and reduce rates of multiple pregnancy, cycle cancellation and ovarian hyperstimulation syndrome.

http://www.cochranejournalclub.com/ART-overview-clinical/?dmmsmid=82411&dmmspid=23531932&dmmsuid=2184724

A Fertility Service run by a Midwifery Practice  http://maiamidwifery.com/services/fertility/

A Fertility App: http://heathersays.com/apps/fertility-app/

 

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